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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quake our wake up call?

The question The Dominion Post asks today in its editorial. I agree and also with the point that complacency soon sets in. But we must not forget that we live in a city very prone to earthquakes. Buildings must be strengthened, emergency plans developed and cupboards stocked with extra supplies.

The editorial asks whether civic leaders should consider tougher rules around strengthening. Council's policy position is that we should strengthen to 67%, we are waiting to hear from the Government as to whether they will give councils the power to enforce such standards. Consultation on this very question closed in March and yet we still have heard nothing from the Government about what they intend to do. I hope that Sunday's quake will result in some more action.

The critical issue here is who will pay for strengthening? Building owners are under pressure. Government needs to look at tax breaks, grants and loans. WCC is currently one of the few organisations really doing any thinking about this question.

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